IN PHOTO At the podium, MILF PIP Chair Mohagher Iqbal delivering his lecture during the peace forum. UPI Mayor Ramon Piang, Sr (in side view with eye glass) sitting at the presidential table

Forum ZFD holds peace advocacy with IP communities in Upi, Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY.  April 13, 2018. The Forum ZFD (Forum Zivilier Friedensdient e.V / Forum Civil Peace Service) in cooperation with Kutawato Multimedia Network ( KuMuNet), Bangsamoro Transition Commission  (BTC), and Local Government Unit of Upi conducted a " PEACE FORUM ON THE BANGSAMORO PEACE PROCESS WITH IP COMMUNITIES " at Municipal Gymnasium, Upi, Maguindanao on April 12, 2018.

Forum ZFD is a German International Non - Government Organization that is committed to peace building using the framework of non - violent conflict transformation and has been engaged in different projects with the aim of generating wider and active participation on social issues. 

The said activity was attended by almost 200 participants composed of IP Barangay officials, Tribal leaders and Community leaders coming from 23 Barangays of Upi, Labungan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, and Romangaob, South Upi. 

Municipal Mayor Ramon Piang, Sr delivered an inspirational message and encouraged his constituents to support the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law which could open an opportunity for system change in governance that would benefit not only the Moro but the IP's and migrant settlers as well. 

MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal in his message gave emphasis on IP rights provided for in the BTC crafted BBL.

He appealed that, " the fate of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BB) is now in the hands of congress and the president. Let us join together to make a stand and show to the world and to our national leaders regardless of our faith and tribes that we are one in pushing for the proposed law. "

Datu Antao Midtimbang, Chairman of BTC Task Force on Reconciliation and Unification discussed the mandate of the task force and introduced its members and consultants.

OSCC - ARMM Director Fatima Kanakan, BTC Commissioner Romeo Saliga and BTC Commissioner Melanio Ulama delivered their respective message of support.

In the open forum many issues were brought out by the participants like the effect of security of tenure on the elected officials of both barangay and local governments; land ownership within the ancestral domain; Unity of MNLF and MILF; and guarantee of peace and security when Bangsamoro political entity will take place.

Iqbal contends, " BBL is not a " cure - all " to social ills confronting our society but an opportunity for all of us especially in the context of good governance and of course one way of correcting historical injustices suffered by us..."